Seventeen civilians have been beheaded by Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan for attending a party, government officials say.
Three women were among those killed by Taliban militants in Musa Qala district in the Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand on Sunday night, an official said Monday.
"The incident happened in Roshan Abad neighborhood, a remote area in Musa Qala district, late Sunday evening," administrative district chief Nematullah told Xinhua.
Some of the slain non-combatants were beaten and others were shot dead by weapons. The area is under Taliban control, he said.
Taliban militants during their rule in Afghanistan, which collapsed in late 2001, had banned music and all other entertainments including watching television and stage shows.
A total of 1,145 civilians were killed and 1,954 injured in conflict -- related violent incidents and attacks in the first six months of 2012, a 15 per cent decrease in overall civilian casualties compared with the same period in 2011, according to a United Nations report released in capital Kabul on Aug. 8.
The report attributed 80 per cent of the civilian deaths to the Taliban and other anti-government elements.